First Inventory of Wild Bees is Under Way

Bees are in the News! From National Geographic  —

Sam Droege, head of the Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Program at the U.S. Geological Survey, is undertaking the monumental task of creating a national inventory of indigenous wild bees.

“The biggest problem is telling the bees apart. Bees are often difficult to differentiate, and about 400 species—ten percent of North America’s bees—lack names. (Compare that to the 1,000 ant species that have been named.)”

Bumble Bee

Could wild bees be the key to saving U.S. crops?

There’s a lot of work to do as scientists try to beat the clock. If honeybee populations continue to decline, scientists believe wild bees could potentially save our crops.

Take a moment to view the video and read more at National Geographic News – As Honeybees Die Off, First Inventory of Wild Bees Is Under Way. Could wild bees be the key to saving U.S. crops? by Sasha Ingber for National Geographic.

Here’s to sharing the buzz!

Soni

UNL Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere – http://lancaster.unl.edu

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About Soni Cochran

Mother, Wife, Grandma! I am an extension associate with the Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County. I work with urban pests and wildlife, youth programs and manage the office web site at http://lancaster.unl.edu. My degree is in education and I taught in rural public schools in Nebraska before coming to Nebraska Extension - UNL. I am Deputy Commander of the 155th Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol in Lincoln - my focus is on public affairs, disaster relief and emergency services. Great organization of adults/teens serving this nation. Love my family, jobs, and sharing my love of nature and the outdoors with anyone who will listen.

2 thoughts on “First Inventory of Wild Bees is Under Way

  1. hi Soni,
    you seem like the person to ask about native pollinator bees. I live on the West Coast, where Blue Orchard Bees are native. We make nesting boxes that can be taken apart and cleaned each year; in this way we have built our “herd” of bees to over 20,000 cocoons this year. We sell cocoons wholesale and retail (at our local Farmer’s Market). This year we built observation nesting boxes that allow friends of the bees to watch the life cycle unfold under plexiglass, year after year.

    I wanted to gift my nephews in Yankton, SD with an bee observatory of their own, but I know that having a clean nesting place each year really works to encourage bee population, and I don’t want to encourage the wrong bees for the region! What solitary bees build cocoons in the Central Midwest, what diameter of tunnels do they prefer, and when is their season?

    Thank you! If you like, I will send some pictures of our own bee adventures here. We are working on a book for kids and other people, to go with the observatory boxes and really hope to launch more bee-human friendships (beyond honey!)

    • So exciting! A nice resource for your nephews would be to check out the regional information from The Xerces Society. South Dakota is in the same region as Nebraska and your nephews would be trying to attract native bees using a variety of diameter openings for nesting. We just added a link to a new resource from Nebraska Extension called “Create a Solitary Bee Hotel” – this would also be helpful!

      Please feel free to share some of your photos! We’d love to see what you are doing! Best wishes. Soni

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